Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Million Miles In A Thousand Years: A Brief Review

I received a preview copy of this book a few weeks ago, and I read it. Twice. The significance of this is I never read books twice. It took me about two decades before I had forgotten enough of the details of Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings series (including The Hobbit) to feel it was worth another read. The fact that I've read "A Million Miles" twice in the short time I've had it is a testament to the importance of the message it unfolds. The book chronicles Don's* journey in trying to convert "Blue Like Jazz" into a screenplay. What seems like a simple task devolves into questioning the very core of his life. Don realizes that life well lived, like a good book or movie, requires certain elements: conflict, desire, difficulty, ambition. Don realizes that he, like so many of us, goes through his life trying to minimize his risk and maximize his comfort, and thus lives a monotonous life. In so doing he shines a mirror onto our soul that reveals our own nature that desires to live a good life, but is too timid to pursue it. This book challenged me on issues that I wasn't even aware existed, and I am at the very least a wiser man for it. I highly recommend this book to anyone.

* It's interesting that I've read so many of his personal stories through his books that I almost think I know him and feel comfortable calling him Don.